ANSI Centrifugal Pumps Offer Speed and Reliability in Oil & Gas Operations

Contributed by: Gary L Israel at Griswold Pump

Growing oil and natural gas market

The recent oil and natural gas boom in North Dakota due to increased drilling and recovery of unconventional deposits in the Bakken shale formation has led to a corresponding population and housing boom in the town of Williston, which sits in the epicenter of all the new drilling activity.

The United States Census Bureau reported that Williston is now the country’s fastest-growing “micropolitan” area (population between 10,000 and 49,999). This growth mirrors that of oil wells in the region, demanding the same urgency and speed.


Speed and efficiency
Centrifugal pumps for oilfield operations

In oilfield operations, speed is of the essence. The process of accessing and procuring oil and natural gas from a well bore before selling and transporting it to a refinery includes many separate actions that must interact with efficiency and accuracy.

Industrial pumps play a critical role in this process. Today, industrial pump manufacturers face the seemingly contradictory demand for high-performing products that can be available at a moment’s notice. Many production companies are completing a new well every other day, creating an ambitious schedule for manufacturers that demands speed without sacrificing quality.

ANSI centrifugal pumping technology meets oilfield criteria of an expedited ‘speed to market’ while delivering reliable, quality performance in difficult oilfield applications.


Operating requirements
Relentless, variable conditions

Industrial pumps must overcome multiple challenges in oilfield applications. Horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing (fracking) are the driving force behind the rapid growth in the recovery of oil and natural gas from unconventional shale deposits. This technology requires incredible amounts of water, pumped at rates of thousands of gallons per minute. Accessing the oil and natural gas also produces water- saltwater.

The presence of saltwater intermingled with the oil and natural gas produces its own challenges. The saltwater must first be separated from the desired commodities then either transported to a second location or pumped back into the shale formation. This requires pumping equipment that features materials of construction and a sealing medium that is compatible with, and resistant to, the abrasive and corrosive substances that can be contained in the oilfield saltwater.

Typically, an iron or ductile-iron pump configuration is used to satisfy this requirement. However, if hydrogen sulfide (H2S) – a colorless, poisonous, flammable gas with the characteristic odor of rotten eggs – is present, a stainless-steel pump with stainless-steel shaft and impeller, as well as a silicon-carbide seal face would be a better option.

In addition to the aforementioned conditions, centrifugal pumps used in oilfield applications must be able to perform reliably while handling the following:

  • Changes in ambient temperatures and other weather conditions, such as humidity
  • Line shock from incorrectly anchored piping
  • Piping systems with sharp bends instead of gentle curves
  • Changes in the product type being pumped
  • Changes in product viscosity
  • High volume (unloading a 50,000-gallon tanker) at high flow rates (4,000 gallons per minute)
  • Changes in product velocity and force
  • Changes in head pressure


ANSI centrifugal pumps offer solution
Griswold 811 series ANSI centrifugal pumps

Many pump companies manufacture ANSI centrifugal pumps for oilfield applications. One such manufacturer, Griswold Pump Company, offers up its 811 Series ANSI Centrifugal Pumps for these challenging natural gas and oil jobs.

The 811 Series pumps feature operational flexibility, efficiency, and durability. They have two time the wear area between the case and impeller when compared to closed-impeller designs; he open-impeller design also minimizes concentrated wear, balancing the hydraulic axial thrust load and reducing the stuffing-box pressure. The latter maximizes pump performance while simplifying maintenance to extend pump life and reduce repair costs.

Griswold offers its pumps in a wide array of materials, including ductile iron, CDM4Cu, alloy 20 and stainless steel. Constructed through a no-bake casting process, the 811 Series pumps are smooth, precise, and have reliable performance. The pumps are also available in a full range of sizes and can be tailored to meet pretty much any saltwater-handling flow rate, up to and including 4,000 gpm (15,142 L/min).

Self-tightening impellers reduce leaks and failures while standard enhanced power frames make the pumps an estimated 33% stronger than competitive models. Fewer than 1% of Griswold 811s in the field have experienced breakdown issues.


View the complete article on the PSG Dover website.

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